Chris Townsend reviews a highly breathable jacket made from eVent.
Although designed for hill running, the Aether is an excellent jacket for walking and backpacking. I took it on the GR5 Trail through the French Alps last year, and it kept me dry in several torrential downpours and on some days of mist and drizzle. It’s made from a lightweight version of eVent, which is one of the most breathable waterproof fabrics. The 3-layer construction is harder-wearing than 2.5-layer ones too. The fabric is a little stiffer than many ultralight ones but it’s still comfortable.
The design is hard to fault. The hood has a wired, laminated peak and an internal gasket through which the drawcords run. This forms a closer fit round the face than is possible with most hoods, and the fabric doesn’t bunch up. The hood also moves well with the head. The pockets are roomy and will just take a map. The bottoms are cut off by a hipbelt but not too much.
The cuffs and hem both have unique designs. The cuffs are longer on the top than the bottom and the closure is underneath, so they protect the wrists better and enable rain to run off easily. They also have slits behind the closure strap for use as thumb loops. The sleeves are long and give good protection.
The Aether has a longer drop tail than most jackets and there are short drawcords on either side. This protects your backside better and allows rain to run off more easily. The cut is described as ‘active’, which means close-fitting. The Large fits me worn over a mediumweight fleece or light insulated jacket.
The Aether is one of the more expensive jackets reviewed. However, it is made from one of the best fabrics and has an excellent design, making it my first choice.